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There Is Magic In Everything · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
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This time, all six of my limbs are in chains.

I cannot even walk around in a circle, like I used to whenever the hunger was too great.

I'm in a slightly different position; now, half my body is on stone smooth as silk, worn down by my hooves, and the other half is on the part I didn't have access to before, which is as rough as sandpaper in comparison.

I try to inch in that direction as much as I can, but the chains don't have a lot of slack in them.

It's dark.

It's even darker than before. When I broke out, Celestia's sun had hurt my eyes so much I'd had to spend nearly all of my magic in ensorcelling my eyes to withstand it, and the enchantment still has to run its course.

I hope the rainbow didn't just blind me and leave me a cripple. Anyth–almost anything would be better than that.

But at least I can make as much noise as I want to! There are no other prisoners to punch me in the kidneys! No guards will come and beat me for screaming my hate at the walls!

Not like in father's dungeons.

A whimper nearly escapes my lips, but I turn it into a roar, because I am fierce, because I am powerful, because I will not break down!

I won't break down! Not even if there isn't anyone who could witness my dishonor, not even when it's so tempting I can feel my heart grow weak, like that of cattle!

Your mind has withstood fifteen centuries of incarceration, Tirek, and it will withstand a thousand more!

You are Tirek the terrible, Tirek the undying, and all will bow before you!

I hear laughter. Why do I hear laughter?! Who dares?!

I start rocking myself back and forth to calm myself. The familiar motion soothes my nerves.

Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth.

Just my ears playing tricks on me, that's all.

Why hasn't the dog come back? I hated the dog. I love the dog. I need the dog.

The dog was warm. The dog was loud. The dog played with me sometimes.

It's stupid. The dog was stupid. I would throw a rock, and the dog would fetch it back.

It...it felt a bit like when I was little, and I would play with Scorpan, and he would laugh with merriment when I tickled him.

I suddenly curl on myself and start gnawing at my right hind leg, like I always do.

I only have to free this one leg and then I'm free.

Scorpan was weak. Scorpan was stupid. Scorpan betrayed me.

I'm not like Scorpan. I am smart, I am strong, and I would never betray him.

...didn't I give away the pendant he gave me as a gift?

No. No. No. No.

That was a hallucination!

His pendant is still here. It's just a different shape, and it's in the middle of all the chains that bind my limbs, and it's really hard to pretend it's not simply another link in the chains, but it's still here.

I would never betray my brother like that. I love my brother. And if I love my brother, that means he loves me too, and that any day now, he'll come back for me, and then we can go and conquer Equestria together, like we should have done the first time.

I love you brother. Please help me.


Tirek the terrible, Tirek the undying, Tirek will not beg! I am smart, I am strong, and I would never beg.

I wish Celestia had just killed me. My leg hurts too much, and I stop for a moment to rock back and forth again.

Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth.

The chiming from the chains is nice. It's like half a dozen tiny bells.

Or maybe it's just my ears playing tricks on me again. I'm only chained here by my one of my legs after all.

I have to be. I couldn't escape again otherwise.

I stop rocking back and forth for a moment, and I bring a wrist up to my fangs.

No. No.

I am Tirek the terrible, Tirek the undying. I have to remember that.

I miss the dog.

Every once in a while he'd bring me his leftovers.

I'm so hungry.

At least I'm not thirsty; every once in a while, droplets of water fall from the ceiling, and I can suck the moisture that's collected in the grooves next to me.

I feel much better now. The enchantment I'd cast on my eyes has finally run out, and I can look around me now. It's not much...walls of stone, floor of stone, a stone ceiling. But it means I can still see.

I have all the time in the world to plan my escape.

And, what's even better, I can calculate a rough approximation of how much time I've been here, ever since–I gnash my teeth–I lost again.

Considering I'd cast the spell when I was at the nadir of my magical abilities...considering the spell itself as minimal energy requirements...

Argh! Why can't I CONCENTRATE?!

I scratch my temples in anger, leaving deep, bloody furrows in my skin.

I catch my breath and calm down a bit.

Considering all that...I think it's been a week at most.

This is dire news.

This is atrocious news, in fact.

The dog had never left Tartarus for more than two days before.

It's always been extremely hard to measure the passing of time in here–I look briefly at the entrance to the corridor, I think it's night right now–but I'm quite sure it never left for more than two days.

I need the dog.

With the spells I have at my disposal–well, actually, THE spell I have at my disposal–I can convert magic into energy for my body, and sustain myself for as long as I have magic in me.

But without the dog, the dog I need, the dog who gives me its leftovers whenever it's finished, the dog who was the only being who kept me from starving...

I'm going to burn through the little magic I have left that much more quickly.

How much have I shrunk already? Am I even more decrepit now than I was before? Have I been left here to die?

I am not scared. I cannot be scared. I am Tirek the terrible, Tirek the undying.

I'm just going to...have to break out even sooner.

I start gnawing on my leg absentmindedly.

It's been five days.

At least, I think it's been five days. Can't concentrate. Can't think.

So hungry.

I started hallucinating yesterday. I thought I'd seen a pony out of the corner of my eye yesterday.

I opened my mouth wider than I thought possible, and tried to suck any magic I could find, but nothing happened. I only managed to inhale empty air, and I still have a belly full of nothing.

Maybe...maybe a family of gargoyles can roost in here, and I can eat the magic off of their unthinking minds. It happened before. Not often, but it has happened.

I feel myself snorting in derision.

The legends were right; hope is the gods saw fit to give all of us.

I have to be stoic. The pony princesses–those weak, hesitant nags, unworthy of their own power–may have sentenced me to death, but I can still face it with dignity.

I raise my wrist to my fangs once again, wondering whether it is best to take my own life, and lose any chance left of escaping, or continue on this course, and give the nags the satisfaction of having robbed me of everything that should be mine by birthright.

I'm distracted from my thoughts by a pulse of agony from where my hoof used to be.

I'd managed to finally sever it...earlier. Some time ago. That leg is free, now.

Unfortunately, I found out I was lying to myself the whole time.

I still have five chains binding me here, and even if I managed mutilate myself to the point of slipping out of all of them, the risk I'd accidentally nick an artery and kill myself is too great.

I hear whimpering.

Good. The ponies are afraid because they know I'll subjugate them yet again. They have to.

It hurts.

Everything hurts.

My leg sends relentless waves of agony up my side. My temples itch with caked blood. And my belly feels like a nest of hydras, desperately trying to escape.

Think, Tirek, think!

There must be a way to save myself.

“Scorpan! Scorpaaan! I love you brother, save me! Save me! Help!”

Am I...am I actually saying those things? Have I sunk so low? Somebody is lifting my arms, holding one of the links in the chains up high.

“Look! Look! I still have your pendant! This means I love you! It means you love me! Save me, brother! Please!”

No. No.

Wait. It's okay.

Scorpan betrayed me, and Scorpan was weak. And I am better than Scorpan. This means that I would never betray him, even if he betrayed me.

And so I can still love him, and if I love him, it means he loves me, and he will come save me.

I feel myself break down crying, holding my face in my hands for some reason.

Later...I don't know how much later, I drag myself to the grooves in the floor where water collects. So I can get back the moisture I spent crying.

They're dry.

The key is magic.

If I get some magic, any magic in me, I'm saved.

I broke off some of the fingers in my left hand and ate them, and now I can think a bit more clearly.

I chuckle. The princesses haven't thought of everything! I am still powerful, I am still great!

I have found a way to eat food where there is no food to eat!

Ah Ah Ah!

It takes me a while to stop laughing.

Now I can start working on The Spell.

I remember that one day, Scorpan had come back from his lessons with the ugly, weakling pony wizard, and he had said that there was magic in everything!

In the ground below us, in the air around us, in the sky above...

He was so happy. I think I backhanded him and ordered him to help me in the conquering effort.

It's getting harder and harder to concentrate.

I just have to change The Spell.

If I can feel the magic around me, I can steal. If I steal it, I can grow strong, and heal, and break out of these chains, and conquer the ponies, and then Father will be proud of me.

My mouth has been locked open for...a while now.

I don't know how long. Less than a day, I think.

I've been sucking at the air fruitlessly, for now, but things are going to change!

I just have to concentrate, to feel the magic around me, and everything will be better!

I wonder...maybe the problem is that I've never tasted the magic of things before?

When I absorbed Discord's magic, I was able to do so by starting on the pony part of it. Maybe I have to do something similar?

Think, Tirek, think. Even if it feels like you can't.

...The Crystal Ponies. When if I encountered them, I was puzzled, because I hadn't seen ponies made of crystal before. But I ate their magic just like I did with any other pony I'd seen.

I just have to focus on how it felt to make their magic my own, and...


YES! Yes! Yes!

I can finally feel magic flowing into me! I'm so happy!

My leg doesn't hurt anymore! My belly doesn't hurt anymore! My hand doesn't hurt anymore!

A torrent of magic goes through my gullet, and I can feel my body stiffening slightly. I don't care.

My hide is becoming gray. I don't care.

I'm not hungry anymore. I'm happy.

“Discord...what happened here?”

Celestia looked at the statue of the starving centaur, horrified.

“Well princess, from what I've been able to gather, Tirek performed his magic-stealing spell. Except that, you know, instead of on a pony, he did it on the rocks all around him and,” Discord gestured at the pitiful statue with a claw, “that happened. Great result, if you want to turn yourself into a lawn ornament. ”

“Is he...is he still alive?”

“Celestia. This centaur is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late centaur. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an–” Celestia's magic shut his mouth forcefully.

“Discord! Be respectful!” she said, anger coloring her words.

At that, one of Discord's eyebrows rose.

“Why? Because an enemy of your state, the being who made me betray Fluttershy and nearly drained me of all my powers permanently accidentally offed himself? Face it Celestia, this is the best result you could have possibly hoped for.”

“And look! Now you have a brand new statue to replace that unsightly void in your garden!”

Celestia looked at the statue once again, and started shuffling out of the Tartarus.

“I don't understand what could have brought him to such despair...I'd even instructed Cerberus to keep him fed...and where is he, anyway?” she muttered to herself.

“Who knows? Maybe he got distracted by a shiny ribbon, and he's going to come back any minute now. It's not really important, anyway.”

Celestia sighed.

“No, I suppose not. Goodbye, Discord.”

He looked at her flying away until she was out of eyesight, and then he snapped his fingers.

Cerberus appeared next to him, confused. Discord petted him with a grin on his face.

“Good doggie.”
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